The Healthiest Costa Coffee Options

Eating out at cafes is an enjoyable social experience that you shouldn’t have to miss out on for the sake of your health journey. Many people worry that going to restaurants or cafes always means overindulging, however, it is possible to eat healthily when eating out.

Costa Coffee is one of the nation’s favourite coffee shops, and offers a comfortable space ideal for working or socialising in. Amongst muffins, croissants, and paninis, there are some healthier alternatives when you find yourself eating there.

It is also completely ok to enjoy a sweet treat when you really want one. The important thing is that this isn’t a frequent indulgence, and you focus on finding the motivation to get back to your healthy habits afterwards.

Science suggests that a reduced carbohydrate diet is the most effective diet for weight loss. Lower-carb diets are particularly effective for those who struggle with blood glucose control (for e.g. people with type 2 diabetes). On top of this, eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables (e.g. broccoli or peppers), protein (e.g. meat or fish), and healthy fats (e.g. olive oil or nuts) has many health benefits.

To save you time and stress, the registered nutritionists here at Second Nature have gone through the Costa Coffee menu and nutritional information and picked out some healthier options. Not all the options are strictly low-carb, but provide the best-balanced meals on offer. Vegetarian options are marked with a (v).

Lower-carb meals

If weight loss is your goal, these options will leave you satisfied and can be included as part of a lower-carb eating plan:

  1. Roast chicken salad + natural mixed nuts packet
  2. Veggie egg pot + natural mixed nuts packet
  3. Tomato and basil soup + natural mixed nuts packet

Higher-carb meals

These options are all balanced meals but are slightly higher in carbohydrate content:

  1. Red thai curry rice pot
  2. Tuna and sweetcorn sandwich
  3. Roast chicken salad sandwich
  4. Mozzarella and sundried tomato pasta salad
  5. Goats cheese and grilled pepper focaccia

Lower-carb snacks

  1. Natural mixed nuts packet
  2. Sweet and salty popcorn


Once you have chosen a balanced meal or snack, bear in mind that many drinks contain hidden sugars that would dramatically increase the carb content of your meal. Many of the drinks are close or exceed the maximum recommended daily allowance (RDA) of sugar in the UK (30g). Here are some examples:

  1. White hot chocolate (medio size): 34.3g sugar (over the max RDA)
  2. Mango and passion fruit cooler (medio size): 32.4g sugar (over the max RDA)

To keep you meal lower-carb opt for:

  1. Water
  2. Cappuccino, latte, flat white, espresso, or Americano coffee without sugar (try to avoid drinking caffeine after lunchtime as it can reduce the quality of your sleep
  3. Herbal teas

Take home message

  • Enjoy a croissant, muffin, or panini when you really want one, then focus on staying motivated to return to healthy habits afterwards.
  • Reduced carb diets seem to be the most effective for weight loss.
  • If you don’t want to indulge, there are a number of healthier, lower-carb options you can order.
  • Be mindful of drinks that contain hidden sugars.


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